We take a look at how Ice Hockey’s reputation has led to some violent encounters during the game, and how one player decided not to wait for the start
The movies get a lot of things wrong. Piranha are, in real life, far more vicious and frantic than the films have ever portrayed them, which seems, given their appearances on-screen rather unlikely, but is true none-the-less. Likewise the sound effects that accompany military jets on the silver screen never quite reflects the truly awesome tearing noise a fighter makes as it blasts its way through the sky in real life, sounding like the worlds largest piece of paper being ripped in two.
Not that we should expect too much reality in our entertainments, even reality TV barely lives up to the definition with there always being a manipulation of real events in some manner from behind the scenes be it on Big Brother, The Voice or Britain’s Got (no) Talent. However there is one area in which the movies don’t just get it a little wrong, but wholly fail to represent even a passing resemblance to the true nature of the subject matter, and whilst you might think it’s war, I’m actually talking about sport.
Helmersson Gets Hammered
• Rogle player attacks before game time
• Revenge for previous encounter
• Axeman gets axed from team
Ever watch a movie about Soccer that really did it justice? “Escape To Victory” might have had Pele in it but it was far from an advert for the beautiful game, it had Sylvester Stallone in it as a goalie for Elvis’ sake, talk about breaking the basic tenets of believable fiction, even Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore” was a more realistic portrayal of golfers than a movie about footballers that had Rambo in goal gambling news from the French underground would help them all both beat and escape the Nazis.
Of course Stallone fared far better in “Rocky” where his meathead manner made for a more apt characterization on screen, but then boxing is a far easier event for film makers to get to grips with, and indeed “Raging Bull” still remains a classic movie, a great film about boxing per se, and one of the best performances DeNiro has ever put in during his long and illustrious acting career, which is probably why he won an Oscar for his portrayal of the incomparable Jake LaMotta in what has become a cult watch.
Movies Misrepresent Most Sports
When it comes to boxing movies, I myself have a bit of a soft spot for the 1956 biopic of that other legend of the ring, Rocky Graziano, titled “Someone Up There Likes Me” where the lead was played very ably by the suitably skilled and consummately professional Paul Newman. Of course when it comes to Paul Newman and sports movies, people tend to think of “The Hustler” and his superb performance as Eddie Felson the darkly self-destructive small-time pool shark facing an even darker world.
However for people who like to bet on sports in Sweden I’ll wager that there’s a Paul Newman movie they’ve all seen that does the sport concerned no favors, and indeed seems to make a point of showing but one facet of a very definitely multifaceted game. The film is, of course, the uproariously funny “Slapshot” that is centered around the fabulously frenetic sport of Ice Hockey, which is, as I’m sure you already know, a bit of a Swedish obsession to say the very least.
Featuring a small time Federal League Hockey team from the Rust Belt of the US called the Charlestown Chiefs, it romps through their failure to win and their falling attendances, all set against the background of the main employer in the town, the local mill, facing closure that would spell the end for the team. Their aging player coach (Newman) Reggie Dunlop gets wind that this will be their last season and tries to garner greater public interest so as to help find a buyer for the team.
The manner in which he does this is to introduce an emphasis on the element of the game that he feels most interests fans. It’s not the skill on the ice, nor the scoreline of the team, but in the somewhat overt quantities of violence the fans like to see, and to that end he brings in several players who, whilst lacking a certain something in terms of game skills, are extremely good at mindless violence on ice. It is an epic movie, but still, it doesn’t really do the reality justice.
Fighting Spirit Of Hockey
Ice hockey has always had a bit of a reputation as a contact sport, and the footage of punch-ups, like that between Marty McSorley and Bob Probert in 1994 which was allowed to continue for nearly two minutes before the officials decided to even try and separate the pair, can be found almost celebrated on the internet. Sometimes it isn’t just two hot-headed players losing control, with the moment of madness between Donald Brashear and Rob Ray in 2004 leading to an all-out en-masse brawl.
As the situation very quickly got out of hand, and the officials frankly overwhelmed, the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers (with only two minutes left to play on the clock) clashed on the ice in a scene that made “Slapshot” look like “Bambi”, and, by the time it was all done and dusted, 20 players had been ejected from the game and a whopping, record breaking, 419 combined penalty minutes had been handed out by the irritated, and indeed bruised, boys in black & white.
However whilst the pressure of the game can sometimes lead players to do silly things in the heat of the moment, it takes a special form of insanity to drive a player to commit an act of violence before the game even begins, which makes you wonder what Andre “The Axeman” Deveaux was thinking when prior to Rogle vs Vasteras he skated into the center ice and delivers a mad two-handed slash to the legs of opponent Per Helmersson, who, it should be noted hit Deveaux from behind in the previous game.
If you’re Swedish gambling laws of the game would be lenient on this one time NHL player you’d be quite wrong with the axe being brought down on the Axeman as his team Rogle BK released him for what wasn’t so much unsporting behavior as it was a premeditated assault. Naturally the game went ahead without him and you can find all the odds and markets you could want on Ice Hockey at ComeOn! Sportsbook from the NHL, the Norwegian GET-ligaen, and, of course, the SHL.